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Gareth Southgate has opted to revert to a back three for England’s Euro 2020 last-16 clash with Germany at Wembley.
The Three Lions played in that shape during their run to their World Cup semi final three years ago, as well as in a number of qualifiers and friendlies since.
However, the first three games of this tournament had seen Southgate switch to four at the back, allowing an extra attacking player to be deployed. That did bring positive results, as England qualified through their group without conceding a goal.
But in order to combat Germany, who will be lining up in a similar 3-4-3 formation, the England boss has made the bold change.
Jack Grealish registered an assist against Czech Republic, but is back on the bench against Germany
In total, Southgate has made one change from the win over Czech Republic, with Jack Grealish moving to the bench to allow for the extra defender.
Jordan Pickford remains in goal, with Harry Maguire, John Stones and Kyle Walker playing as the three central defenders.
Luke Shaw is handed the start at left wing-back, while Kieran Trippier is preferred to Reece James on the opposite flank.
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West Ham ’s Declan Rice will again partner Kalvin Phillips as the double pivot in front of the defence, offering the kind of protection that could prove vital.
In the most divisive selection in the forward areas, Bukayo Saka retains his place. The Arsenal star was the Star of the Match against Czech Republic, but many expected either Grealish or Phil Foden to get the nod.
Bukayo Saka keeps his place after shining last time out
(Image: Neil Hall/POOL/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)
Do you agree with Gareth Southgate's team selection? Let us know
Raheem Sterling keeps his place after scoring two goals in the group stage, whie Harry Kane – who is looking for his first goal of the tournament – continues to lead the line.
The changes also mean that Foden and Mason Mount all miss out, with Southgate now afforded a plethora of attacking options on the bench.
Foden was rested for the final group game, with the Manchester City on a yellow card, while Mason Mount has been in self-isolation after being registered as a close contact to Scotland star Billy Gilmour, who tested positive for Covid-19.
Ben Chilwell has also been training away from the main group and is back with the main training squad, but not included in the on the bench today.
Another not involved is Dominic Calvert-Lewin. The Everton striker is the obvious back-up to Kane, but after appearing off the bench in the opener, he was an unused sub in the proceeding two and is now out of the matchday squad for the last-16 clash.
England XI vs Germany (3-4-3): Pickford; Maguire, Stones, Walker; Trippier, Phillips, Rice, Shaw; Sterling, Kane, Saka. Subs: Johnstone, Ramsdale, Grealish, Henderson, Rashford, Mings, Coady, Sancho, Mount, Foden, James, Bellingham
Germany XI: Neuer; Rudiger, Ginter, Hummels; Gosens, Goretzka, Kroos, Kimmich; Havertz, Muller, Werner.